Power Cap

Power cap- existential handicapping

04 August 2010



This time around there was only one qualified bidder, the last time there were three and the winning bidder was exposed for fraudulence by the major New York daily newspapers. Hopefully for the sake of NY racing, there is no scandal involved with the parties at hand and all past legal matters involving the disqualified winning bidders is resolved swiftly.

Yonkers Raceway can serve as an example of how slots and horse racing should not be done, keep in mind I am going off my observations from visiting the raceway from two years ago. On my last visit there the third floor was the only floor dedicated solely to betting and watching horse racing action from around the country. On the second floor there was a restaurant with two betting windows and the rest of the floor was dedicated to lottery sales and video lottery terminals. The first floor had an outdoor betting area that could not have measure no more than fifty feet and the rest of the floor was video lottery terminals. On my very rough calculations of racing to slots ratio, 1/3 to 1/4 of the track was dedicated to the racing aspect and the rest of the plant was a slot machine haven. Also of note, you had to walk through two floors of slot machines before getting to the racing dedicated floors. It is kind of like Dawn of the Dead where the population will start off dense on the first floor and taper off to next to nothing by the time you hit the third floor. You could hardly tell there was live or simulcast racing happening on the slot machine floors because every available television screen was dedicated to getting people to sign up to their rewards card or getting you to play the machines in one way or another.

This is what I do not want the upgraded facilities of Aqueduct to turn into, this place is in need of some serious renovation as evidenced by past photos posted here. However, the improved Aqueduct should serve both the needs of the slot jockeys and the jockey handicappers in a fair manner. The second and third floor of Aqueduct needs to be improved upon, because the place looks like it is 10-20 years behind the rest of civilization. Last time I was there they had a poster for the 2000 Kentucky Derby futures hanging in a prominent location. The sports bar needs some rehab, it uses the tube televisions that used to hang in the grandstand and I am pretty sure you can pick up a disease is if you walk barefooted on the carpet in there. Also a Vegas style simulcast center where you don't have to pay three dollars for a seat or bet a $100,000 or more on your NYRA Rewards account for a Players Club card to access the room would be a welcomed addition by many.

There are hidden benefits of the Aqueduct project including improved bus and rail commute to the area, new jobs, and added revenue to the area. The cash flow generated from the VLTs will increase the purse structure, hopefully this will increase the field sizes for each race. The slots have been long overdue from when this bill was originally passed and the facilities at Aqueduct show this. The lack of money that could be put into this place to keep it a modern racing center can be seen from the transition from the upgraded first floor to the antiquated second and third floor. Hopefully the revenue from the slots can return NY racing to a place of prominence and not a second class racing outfit where runners are lost to out of state competition.

1 comment:

bklynbest said...

One area for the one armed bandits and the rest for the horse players and "never the two shall meet"

I am also hoping that they don't forget that this a a racetrack 1st and foremost.

When I'm there I don't want casino players invading my space, as I don't invade theirs...
Then and only then can all parties indulge in their vices without problems.